Archive for the ‘cloudvolumes’ Category

A really major step forward in delivering Thinapp packages

January 28, 2014

A solution many Thinapp customers have been waiting for. Thinapp packages can now be delivered as VMDK´s from Cloudvolumes.

1. User and group based entitlement of ThinApp packages
2. Drastically improve performance and responsiveness of ThinApp packages
3. Eliminate network congestion caused by streaming
4. Usage tracking, audit, and compliance of ThinApp packages
5. Supports virtual desktops and RDSH/XenApp

Blog Entry at VMware Blogs by Aaron Black, End-User Computing Product Manager, VMware

I’d like to introduce a capability from our partner CloudVolumes, which allows ThinApp packages to be delivered as VMDKs.  This is an exciting form factor because of the added performance and flexibility that any customer with ThinApp packages and a vSphere datastore can start utilizing today.  There are a number of benefits with this approach which complement the isolation and cross-platform compatibility that application virtualization provides.  Let’s highlight a few of them below:

  • Customers can now present ThinApp packages as dynamically attached volumes on storage instead of moving bits around the data center via the network (so ’90s . . .).  This removes the network variable, which is often the limiting factor for scalability and performance for deploying ThinApp packages in streaming mode.
  • Entitlement to AD users and groups and ThinApp registration become immediate turnkey processes, driven through a centralized GUI, without any need for login scripts or for users to log in and log out for changes to take effect.
  • ThinApp packages retain their read-only property and can be mounted either in a shared fashion to multiple virtual machines or attached to virtual machines individually (on local storage as well).  The ThinApp sandbox can also be made portable by utilizing writable CloudVolumes to fully enable the needs of the nonpersistent desktop.
  • This is not a VDI-only solution!  ThinApp is used heavily on the RDSH platform for very dense application delivery environments, and the combination of CloudVolumes and ThinApp delivers a truly remarkable solution without trade-offs.  Having administered my fair share of RDSH boxes, I really appreciate this angle!

This is an elegant solution that empowers IT to provide scalable growth, significant storage savings, and simpler application management, while end users benefit from the accelerated performance.  So we worked with the CloudVolumes team to put together a framework for understanding the benefits and some test data that really shows the solution off.  Please take a read HERE!

Not a reader?  I understand :-). Check out the video at either YouTube or Vimeo, or scope out the diagram below for a conceptual view.

Screen-shot-2014-01-27-at-7.30.33-PM

More technical informations and test results about Cloudvolumes Thinapp Edition  will follow shortly. If you can´t wait, try it out

Real-time VDI Management of VMware Horizon View VM’s without a Recompose using Cloudvolumes

June 24, 2013

Guest Blogpost by Chas Setchell…

Centralized management of VDI vs. physical computers saves on time and resources however depending on which kind of VDI deployment you have you could be realizing even more savings. Ideally the most efficient deployment type is Non-persistent / Stateless VDI, this is when you have one or many golden master VM’s that are then shared by a VDI pool. When your VM’s are Non-persistent / Stateless the user gets a fresh VM at login and at logout the VM gets recycled.

Screen-Shot-2013-06-20-at-15.44.43

In a Non-persistent / Stateless VMware Horizon View deployment with Composer the admin creates a base image and performs a VM snapshot that is used as the starting point for the VM’s. When patch Tuesday rolls around and the admin will boot the golden master apply the patch and take a snapshot, the admin then needs to perform a recompose that will update all existing VM’s, and depending on the urgency of the update you might need to have users log off. This process will can take 1 or more minutes per VM.

21Is there a better way?

What if you could take an active VMware Horizon View session and inject new applications, update existing applications including system and application patches in real time with no reboot, zero install, zero configuration, and no streaming.

Using CloudVolumes you get exactly that, let’s take a look at how this works in a VMware Horizon View environment. Let me introduce you to Appstacks. Appstacks are volumes that contain a single Application or Multiple Applications or anything you can install in a VM when it is in capture mode that enables the creation of a Appstack including dependencies, services, roles and even settings. A single AppStack can be shared across thousands of VM’s saving on storage and management.

How does it work? The CloudVolumes agent is installed in your Golden Master, when a user is login the Appstack’s get attached to the VM and any applications located in that Appstack are immediately made available to that user. When a user is already logged in to a VM when the administrator assigns a new Appstack CloudVolumes will attach the Appstack to the running VM and the agent will detect and inject the Application into the VM and will be ready use within seconds.

Using CloudVolumes Writable Volumes also enables some other exciting features for Non-persistent / Stateless VMware Horizon View environments. The CloudVolumes Writable Volumes will capture the changes made in the session providing Persona / User Profile Persistence across the Non-persistent / Stateless VDI pool.

This also enables the ability for User Installed Applications (UIA) or Admin Installed Applications (AIA).
A good example could be a User Installed Plug-in as the user changes VM’s the plugin will stay in the CloudVolumes Writable Volume. When a user logs out all of his changes are retained and again instantly applied to any pooled VM he logs back into.

Screen-Shot-2013-06-20-at-15.44.54

There are many benefits to using CloudVolumes in a VMware Horizon View environment:

• Minimize the need for Department based Golden Master Images.
• Deploy Applications and Updates in real-time.
• Reduce Disk space by using only a single copy of the Applications and Updates across VMs.
• Writable Volume enables User Installed Applications for Non-persistent / Stateless.
• Change Golden Master without Reinstall of Core Applications.
• Change Golden Master without Impacting Users Writable Volume.
• CloudVolumes works with all existing tools and Application Virtualization including profile mgmt.
• Appstacks support even difficult applications with DCOM, Drivers and Services and even custom apps.

CloudVolumes Delivers Industry’s First Instant Workload Management Solution

May 7, 2013

Last year in November i wrote about Cloudvolumes for the first time. Today i believe “this software will change your business”

This video demonstrates delivering 50 applications (Microsoft Office, Adobe Reader, Photoshop, iTunes, etc.) within seconds to a user logged into a virtual desktop

By virtualizing above the OS, CloudVolumes eliminates per VM management, installation and migration – providing instant delivery of multi-tier complex server and virtual hosted desktop workloads, simplifying management and drastically reducing costs

LOS ALTOS, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Formerly known as SnapVolumes, CloudVolumes today announced the availability of its suite of enterprise-class Instant Workload Management (IWM) products for enterprise server, desktop, and cloud environments. CloudVolumes also is introducing integration with VMware vFabric Application Director. By virtualizing above the operating system (OS), CloudVolumes is eliminating per virtual machine (VM) management, significantly reducing management requirements and costs.

“We created Instant Workload Management solutions to virtualize everything above the OS to allow the industry to simply think in terms of what they care most about – workloads.”

“Virtualization at and above the operating system can massively benefit enterprise datacenters,” said Paul Burns, president of cloud research firm Neovise. “CloudVolumes is breaking new ground here, resulting in improved server and cloud delivery, capacity creation and mobility from one cloud to another, as well as enhanced virtual desktop delivery, configuration management, patch management and more.”

CloudVolumes products are engineered for enterprise-class workloads with a single point of administration and ability to virtually transport workloads without using physical resources, by natively attaching volumes to thousands of running VMs. Additionally companies have a choice to move their workloads to the best available resources in the datacenter or cloud without worrying about the underlying infrastructure. CloudVolumes IWM solution requires no changes to existing infrastructure, OS, hypervisor, application, licensing, policy or infrastructure and delivers:

  • Instant deployment of complex multi-tier server workloads into a running VM
  • Scaling, relocation and recovery instantly across thousands of virtual machines within seconds
  • Migration of workloads between the cloud and datacenter, independent of VM or hypervisor
  • Single image management of applications, dependencies, data and settings
  • Patches, updates and upgrades that are applied once and delivered dynamically to many VMs
  • Department and user installed apps, including personalization for desktop
  • Support for all Windows desktop and server apps including custom developed ones

“The CloudVolumes product is truly a differentiator in the industry by allowing users to change the way IT provisions applications to specific workgroups or change the personality of a server-build to rapidly provision workloads such as an SQL server or Citrix Server. Instead of spending hours building unique server and virtual desktop workloads, we are able to simply assign the right AppStack to the given server or application workgroup,” said Cory Merritt, president, Sage Infrastructure Solutions Group. “At Sage, we have leveraged CloudVolumes to take a base Windows Server 2008 R2 build, and by applying the appropriate AppStack, turned the base server into a SQL Server with a simple reboot.”

The CloudVolumes suite of products provides solutions for critical use cases in today’s enterprise datacenter and cloud:

cv-Enterprise Server – With CloudVolumes servers no longer need to be dedicated to a specific workload, and can be managed as a generic pool enabling rule based dynamic provisioning in seconds. CloudVolumes allows IT to relocate, reconfigure and update servers to perform new tasks on demand with no downtime, even for custom apps and complex multi-tier services. Additionally it enables servers to be seamlessly managed and upgraded to deliver future applications and updates, while continuing to operate current the workload as is. Demo: http://vimeo.com/65594851

cv-Enterprise Desktop — Virtual Hosted Desktop, VDI, Microsoft RDS, Citrix XenApp – CloudVolumes Desktop solution provides a persistent desktop feel with non-persistent pools including UIA/DIA and complete user personalization, while having a single point of administration and control for all applications. IT costs are reduced with 1:N storage compression and storage tiering. Users will experience native performance that can be further enhanced by “virtually sharing single SSD” across all VMs. All without recreating VMs, packaging, streaming or modification to the app. Demo: http://vimeo.com/65604027

cv-Cloud – Server and Desktop – Manage your datacenter together with the cloud, using CloudVolumes. Enterprises can now dynamically scale and move, as demand increases without the costly conversion and migration of virtual machines. VMs no longer need to be moved and enterprises can move only what is important, the workload. Additionally Desktop as a Service (DaaS) providers will be able to provide fully installed applications on-demand allowing users to practically manage themselves. Demo: http://vimeo.com/65624256

cv-Cloud – for VMware vFabric Application Director IWM enables customers of VMware vCloud and AppDirector to realize unique and significant additional benefits, such as being able to instantly deploy blueprints and single image manage/update of apps across hundreds or thousands of provisioned virtual machines (VMs). CloudVolumes’ services are available at the VMware Cloud Applications Marketplace Demo: http://vimeo.com/65620067 and https://solutionexchange.vmware.com/store/category_groups/application-management

CloudVolumes is also Citrix Ready certified for Citrix XenApp, XenDesktop, and XenServer, as well as Cisco UCS compatible.

“IT is still managing, migrating, and installing apps one-at-a-time in VMs as if they were physical machines. In today’s virtual world, workloads should not be locked-in to a given hypervisor or cloud,” said Raj Parekh, president and CEO of CloudVolumes. “We created Instant Workload Management solutions to virtualize everything above the OS to allow the industry to simply think in terms of what they care most about – workloads.”

CloudVolumes Product Availability

CloudVolumes IWM products are available now to qualified customers for trials, and production deployments. For more information, please contact me at holger.kuehn(at)ahaager.de

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